And we are responsible for Pestilance, Drought, Flooding, and Britany’s Blow Up


And we are responsible for Pestilance, Drought, Flooding, and Britany’s Blow Up

Here it comes — The parking industry is responsible for just about everything. According to this article our industry first of all, provides 3 times more parking spaces than there are drivers. Plus our lots and garages cause urban heating and take up valuable crop land, etc etc etc.


I sort of knew that there were a lot of parking spaces, since I seldom have trouble finding one when I want one. It does make sense that there has to be at least two spaces for every driver, since you left one and you are going to one. But there also has to be more since there’s no way to tell where I’m going to go and since they counted my garage and driveway as parking spaces.  Of course, there will be plenty of space around shopping centers (most required by cities, not the center) and spots on streets and the like.

But then there’s the dreaded pollution issue.  Cars drop oil and it gets on the concrete and then it runs off into the streets and rivers and kills all non human life. But…if there were no parking lots, the crud would drop directly on the dirt and the same thing would happen.  And did the writers of the article know that most new pavings and facilities have to take this little issue into consideration?  Probably not.

And what about those quarter of a million bushels of corn that could have been grown on parking spaces if they were left to farm and not collect oil and pollute?  Are those the same bushels that are now being used for ethanol?  What about the millions of acres of farmland that lies fallow because the government pays farmers NOT to grow anything? Aw Jeese..Don’t you hate it when that happens.

You know — I think we are responsible for Global Warming. According to the article, there is something called the "urban heat affect" and that means that cities are warmer than the surrounding countryside. (That must be why people take Sunday drives — whoops).  Anyway.  Because of parking lots, cities are warmer, and since most temperature monitoring stations are located in cities…..

And they spent good hard earned money for this survey — no it wasn’t earned, it was your tax dollars at work.

You get the idea. 


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

One Response

  1. Shoup was talking about the ratio of cars to parking spaces years ago, where have these guys been? They missed the main point of all the data they collected, that being “why do we have all these spaces?” Because everytime the government tries to address the traffic and congestion issue they do so by expanding road capacity, to the tune of billions of $’s per year. Once they increase the capacity it allows more development where the government then dictates that you provide “x” amount of parking per sq foot, a totally arbitrary number based on the mythical “average” demand. Now they’ve increased the demand for the roads with new development so the initial increase in capacity has actually led to more traffic and congestion and created the need for further action to address the congestion. So, once again they will increase the capacity and start the cycle all over again.
    What they really should measure is the sq footage of roadway per vehicle, a car sitting at rest (parking lot) is far less of a threat to the environment than a car in motion (roadway). I would also be willing to bet that the roads cover a lot more land than our parking lots, and as you pointed out parking lots and garages are designed to address runoff issues whereas roads do not.
    I guess what I’m saying is that at the root of it this study is really an endorsement of Shoup’s theories and an illustration of the problems with the approach most municipalities take with regards to planning for transportation and parking.

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